A hand reaches out to hold one that is slowly disappearing with a broken heart in the background.

The Heartbreak of Prostate Cancer

Diane talks to a woman who lost her husband to prostate cancer. The woman shares the warning signs her husband experienced and how she tried to push him to get checked.

Warning signs

My husband worked in a nearby city where we lived. I was a business owner in another city, and our last child was in college. The first and second children were on internships in different towns.

We could talk with each other every evening and every morning. Checking in on each other to see how the day went and how the other person was doing.

My husband began complaining in 2010 that he couldn’t go to work because of some minor pain in his body. I would ask him to see a doctor, but you know how men are, they rarely take sickness seriously. He would not get checked.

Trying to get him help

After a week of him telling me he hadn't gone to work, I decided to intervene more. I knew something was not right. His legs were very swollen, so I drove him to the hospital, where he received some drugs and injections.

He was home for a couple of days and started complaining that his bowels became blocked, and he was unable to empty his bladder. I took him back to the hospital and they performed some type of surgery that relieved him. They requested for him to stay in the hospital for further testing, but he refused.

We returned home and I continued to work, and every morning I would leave him in bed. Every evening I could find him still in bed or on the balcony. He was quiet, but I could tell he was in pain. Whenever I mentioned going to the hospital, he would be so bitter, and he didn't want to hear anything with the word hospital in it.

The diagnosis

One day he called me to bring him pain relievers. When I arrived, I discovered he was in critical condition, and I rushed him to the hospital immediately. He thoroughly explained his condition to the doctors.

They requested a biopsy and PSA test. It occurred to me that my children's father could be suffering from some sort of cancer. When the results came in, I was told it was prostate cancer that had progressed and that he needed immediate treatment.

The pain is still fresh

My husband died 4 years ago, but the experience is still fresh in my mind. I remember the pain he endured was indescribable. He could walk around naked, screaming at the top of his lungs, knocking over everything in his path. He had no control over anything in his life. I couldn’t tell the kids want was going on. I didn't want them to see their father in such emotional trauma.

He had several surgeries in total, but nothing changed until the doctors decided to remove the prostate, which was the source of the cancer's spread. Several things changed over the next year, and he was back in excruciating pain again, to which he eventually succumbed.

By the time he died, he couldn't walk and had to finish both his long and short calls on where he slept. As a wife, it was difficult, but I made certain that he was well cared for even in his final moments.

Get checked early

For those last few years I had him around, I felt like a widow. My business failed, and a lot of things changed for our family. It may not be easy for partners who have husbands with prostate cancer, but stay strong. Don't be alone; find friends to share with and seek help.

Men, please get checked early. If my husband had, he might still be here with us.

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